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Author: Khiara McCarroll

Items You Might Not Know Were Invented by African Americans

Imagine a life without potato chips, the traffic signal, elevators, and many other things that have become a part of people’s everyday life. African Americans have invented and improved so many of these important things. It’s never a bad thing to look back on and think about the items you have and the history behind them. In celebration of Black History Month, here are some things that wouldn’t exist or be what they are now without African Americans.  

Garrett Morgan was an astonishing man who invented and improved many items that the world would be very different without. One of his most prominent inventions is a respiratory device that later helped develop the blueprint for the gas mask. Other notable inventions and improvements include a hair-straightening product, the traffic signal, and the sewing machine. Morgan definitely paved the way for other black inventors and has had a huge impact on the safety of people fighting in wars, and others as well.

Potato chips have been a favorite snack of people around the world for a long time. They’re sold and consumed everywhere, and we have an African American man to thank for that.  In 1853, George Crum was working as a chef in a restaurant in New York. Dissatisfied with a customer’s complaint about how his fries were made, Crum cut the potatoes into super thin slices, fried them to an almost burnt crisp, and added a generous amount of salt. To his surprise, the customer actually enjoyed the creation. When Crum opened his own restaurant a few years later, every table received a bowl of them. The next time you eat a chip, remember Crum and how one person’s criticism led to the invention of a beloved snack.

When you think of inventions such as the lightbulb and the telegraph, you think of Thomas Edison, or maybe even Alexander Graham Bell. One person you probably haven’t heard of though, is Lewis Latimer. He is just as memorable as these other men and worked alongside theme as well. He helped Edison with the invention of the light bulb and the telegraph, and came up with improvements for the light bulb. Although his work isn’t very well known, it was very prominent and should not be forgotten.

Madam C.J. Walker was a brilliant woman that is an example to all that there are no limits to what you can do. Walker created a line of hair care products, mainly for African Americans, that changed the world of beauty and hair. To promote her products, she even traveled the United States to get the word out about them. She went on to become the first American woman to become a self made millionaire.

Alexander Miles is another great inventor that improved elevators drastically. Before him, elevator doors had to be manually opened and closed. Without his improvements, people would fall down elevator shafts while trying to get on. The mechanism he invented made elevator rides safer by triggering the doors to open and close. Elevators aren’t as dangerous as they were when first invented, and we have Miles to thank for that.

Even through times of hardship and mistreatment, these people used their great minds to change the world for the better. These African American inventors are inspirational and are names that should not be forgotten.

Meitu Makes Its Way To BHS from Japan

Teens everywhere are obsessed with selfies. The interest and attention towards using cute or funny filters as a form of entertainment has exploded among high school students. Snapchat is always there to provide a laugh or a smile with their clever and amusing filters, such as adding dog ears or vomiting rainbows. However, Snapchat isn’t the only app to provide this service.

Meitu is a Japanese photo filter app. It’s been out for a few years overseas, but is just now gaining attention and popularity in the United States. The app turns your selfies into anime looking ones and can be fun and entertaining. It can add sparkles to your eyes and make them larger, give you porcelain skin, and sharpen your jawline to make you look more like an anime character than yourself. Barberton High School senior, Michael Holtzapple, got ahold of the app and gave BHS staff members makeovers using it. The video below shows the aftermath of his experiment.

BHS freshman Michael Kelley had this to say about the app.

“The app is an interesting one to use, but requires you to download more apps to make it more entertaining.

– Michael Kelley


The company is definitely proud of the app’s success and boasts about its millions of downloads. Is it worth a try?

If you do use the app, make sure you use it with caution. Alfred Ng, CNet author, spoke of the privacy concerns, “for a photo-editing app, Meitu has some rather unusual lines of code in its iOS version. And the Android version asks for an awful lot of permissions. This has raised concerns the company could be spying on users in order to sell data to ad-targeting firms.” Some say it asks for too many permissions and too much private information; but that’s for you to decide.

“for a photo-editing app, Meitu has some rather unusual lines of code in its iOS version. And the Android version asks for an awful lot of permissions. This has raised concerns the company could be spying on users in order to sell data to ad-targeting firms.”

-Alfred Ng

Currently, BHS doesn’t seem to be inundated with Meitu users. It’s just now beginning to catch fire in the United States, so only time will tell. Judging by the video below, there seems to be fun to be had with the app if the user is not concerned with the privacy issues.


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